After World War I, Germans suffered from the harsh terms of the Versailles Treaty. With the country’s economy in shambles, "seeds of bitterness" had been sown. It seemed impossible, even for government officials in Berlin, to reverse the downward slide.
During the 1928 national elections, a developing political party headed by Adolf Hitler - called the National Socialist German Workers’ Party - promised change but made a poor showing. Garnering a very small percent of the vote, no one really knew its leaders or what they stood for.
At the time, the world had never heard of Hitler. (Scroll down 60% in this April 18, 1932 article.) He and his party - referred to, by some observers, as the "Joke Party" - had a major job to do. They had to widely acquaint German voters with this relatively obscure man (the picture depicts him as a WWI soldier) from Linz.
In the days before television, political candidates relied on posters, among other things, to "get known." Hitler, and his colleagues, became masters of mass communication. Let’s take a look at some of the posters which the Nazi party created to "spread the word" about Hitler (whom the government had banned from speaking in most public places during 1927).
Hitler’s party received 2.6% of the national parliamentary vote in 1928. They increased their standing to 18.3% in 1930. By 1932, when Germany’s president - Paul von Hindenburg - was 84 years old, Hitler and his party captured 37% of the vote. Nazi strategy, and Hitler’s fiery orations, were working.
There was, however, no turning back.